Tuesday is the first day of 3, for statewide testing in NY on English Language Arts (ELA). The foillowing week there will be 3 more in Math. And in May there will be 2 more days of testing in Science This testing has been going on for some years now, but this year there is a twist. The Common Core Curriculum was introduced to our schools at the beginning of this school year. This new “Common Core” as it is referred to is supposed to be the model by which we get our children on the best path to one day graduate college. The problem is, it is a tragically flawed program, and the state test has been changed to reflect its implementation, even after all school administrators and parents were told there was not enough time to redesign the tests properly. So my 4th grade, who’s academic future is involved, is a guinea pig for New York State.
To be fair, I am posting the video made to calm the fears of parents across NYState:
Be prepared for lower scores. OK. It is not unreasonable that things change and better measures need to be taken. But that is the smokescreen. This is all experimental, they did not have enough time to prepare a proper test, they rushed, and the Common Core is not what it seems, it will cause the destruction of the American student.
The education powers that be in NY also wrote an editorial which was in the New York Daily News on April 10th titled “Here comes the Common Core:Yes, test scores will fall. That’s necessary as we prepare students for college and career.”
This article should read, “The Destruction of the American Student.” Here is my response which may or may not soon be published in Letters to the Editor column:
“My son’s elementary school instituted Common Core this past September and we were told this years test would not reflect that, as there was not enough time to institute it for the 2013 state tests. That changed for some unknown reason and schools across NYS have been scrambling ever since, as the information on how to prepare students has come at a trickle. So, all of this years test takers are guinea pigs. And I am mad as hell about that because rushing the process will not teach those administrating it how to best accomplish their goals. I am mad because we have also been given dribs and drabs of information that suggest the data on our students will be mined, without any parental consent required, by organizations outside of the school, who may one day profit from that info. Mad because the Common Core is not developmentally appropriate for the younger grades. The system has been hijacked and I suspect if you follow the money trail, i.e., the creators of the Common Core, the creators of the test and then the creators of the workbooks, and certain foundations pushing for this change,a clearer picture would unfold.”
Additionally, as 1 example of this new system’s failures, having 4th grade students practice on what used to be 6th grade reading passages, contributes to low self esteem, low self confidence, and poorer education. Also, the massive test prep, does not support healthy education, it undermines it. Students are literally rushed through topics to prepare for the test. We are told that the schools are not “teaching to the test.” All you have to do is see what is going on in your child’s academic life to know that is a blatant lie.
You are not preparing these kids for college, you are preparing them for anti-depressants and unemployment. Parents across America must fight back.
The Common Core is not developmentally appropriate for the younger grades. That is mind boggling! How do you teach children material they are not old enough, mature enough, or developed enough for? How can that work? How can it not damage children?
There will be massive data mining, massive assessments done, and massive testing. A lot of information. Who is paying for this? And is most of it necessary? And why are you violating my right to privacy by letting outside firms mine this data on our children, data these outside firms may one day profit from! And how will our children ever recover from over-testing?
Common Core was instituted in NYC in September. There was not enough time to develop a while new test based on that curriculum is what we were told, the next thing we know they are instituting the new test anyway. What is the rush? Going slower and doing it right seems to be a clear route to me, am I alone in that thought?
And what about the money trail? Are there laws in place so the makers of these tests are not poised to profit from creating the workbooks for these same tests? Sounds like we are headed for some major collusion. Also, why are some big money foundations pushing this through as well. What is their agenda?
And the school year is now all about test prep. The Principal will be the first to claim that they are not teaching “to” the test. I understand they have to say this, but it is a blatant lie. Everything is now about the test. Subjects are rushed through like I have never seen, it is borderline abusive. The teachers have no time to engage with the students, the material is barely touched upon, and the kids are supposed to magically absorb, understand, and learn it all. Any 4th grade parent in my school, that has been dong homework with their child, knows plain and simple that the kids are being taught with this test in mind.And sources confirmed that a 6th grade passage from 2005 was being used as homework for my son’s 4th grade. That is absurd. That is the perfect way to lower self confidence and self esteem, instead of educating. What mind thinks up these horrible situations? This is how you destroy young minds.
The Common Core is not the answer to our countries education problems. As more and more information becomes available, you can google and youtube to see, people are starting to get angry and speak up. I am trying to get the word out and have also joined several Facebook groups regarding this. People are looking to make money from this and not help students. Teachers are afraid to talk but several have expressed to me, from many different schools, that this new curriculum is harmful to students in their professional opinion. Harmful! This is unacceptable.
I couldn’t agree more. They are certainly (pushing)implementing a new program without giving teachers a chance to actually teach it and the students an opportunity to understand it. You can’t shove something down students’ throats in September and then fairly assess them on it in April. Furthermore, they are evaluating me and all testing grade teachers on students’ progress. How are students supposed to show progress on a test that the state already stated should have a 30-40% decline in scores? They are setting teachers and students up to fail. Coming from a person who loves her job and working with her students, I wish they wold just drop all these tests and let us teach. That is what we are meant to do! Children learn through their experiences and testing them every single year for days at a time makes it unimportant to them. I think a test every four years would have much more impact than burning them out year after year.
I couldn’t agree more. They are certainly (pushing)implementing a new program without giving teachers a chance to actually teach it and the students an opportunity to understand it. You can’t shove something down students’ throats in September and then fairly assess them on it in April. Furthermore, they are evaluating me and all testing grade teachers on students’ progress. How are students supposed to show progress on a test that the state already stated should have a 30-40% decline in scores? They are setting teachers and students up to fail. Coming from a person who loves her job and working with her students, I wish they would just drop all these tests and let us teach. That is what we are meant to do! Children learn through their experiences and testing them every single year for days at a time makes it unimportant to them. I think a test every four years would have much more impact than burning them out year after year.
I don’t know if you had to predict how we’ll your students were going to do at the beginning of the year. My husband had basically profile his students and predict what their grades would be at the end of the year in 9th grade.
Oh there is much more wrong this year
Then this even touches upon. What teachers have to do now is appalling. I bet most parents don’t even know about it but I do since my husband is a teacher. It’s a shame what is going on in the NYS education department.